April 28, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Kelly Schulze had a pair of RBI doubles in game one and the game-winning hit in game two to help the UC Davis softball team take a doubleheader sweep after a 4-2 win and a 4-3 victory in nine innings against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at La Rue Field.
Schulze had a combined three hits, four RBIs and one run scored in the two games, using a walk-off hit in game two to lift UC Davis in the win. Amy Nunez added two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in game two, including a two-run home run.
Both starting pitchers for the Aggies turned in soled games, with Justine Vela recording both wins after 11 strikeouts in game one. Jessica Thweatt threw 8.0 innings in game two and had a career high 13 strikeouts.
UC Davis stayed out in front in the Big West race, improving to 20-25 on the season with a 10-4 mark in conference play. The Gauchos fell to 23-28 and 8-6 in league games.
"UC Santa Barbara is a great opponent and they challenged us in all facets of the game today. I'm proud of our players and how they stepped up," said head coach Karen Yoder. "Jessica Thweatt had great command of her pitches and we had great offensive output with some clutch hitting from Kelly Schulze and Amy Nunez."
In game one, UC Davis tallied a pair of runs in the second and third innings for an early lead they would not surrender.
UC Santa Barbara managed to reach the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning, using one hit and a sacrifice fly to score one run. Kathryn Pilpil had a one-out triple over the center fielder's head to advance into scoring position. Allison Taylor brought home the run on a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Gauchos a 1-0 advantage.
The Aggies answered in the bottom of the second, taking the lead after two runs on three hits and one error. Kylie Fan started with a lead-off single and advanced to third on a throwing error. Schulze immediately followed with a RBI double to right center to bring home the first run of the inning. After a sacrifice hit advance the runner, Schulze came home to score on an illegal pitch, making the score 2-1 in favor of UC Davis.
The Aggies tacked on two more runs in the top of the third, using one hit and an error to score a pair of unearned runs. A walk and error put two UC Davis runners on base before Schulze added another double, this time sending a shot to right field that scored two runs and put the Aggies on top 4-1.
The Gauchos cut in to the lead in the top of the fourth, thanks to a Keilani Jennings solo home run to center field, bringing the score to 4-2.
Justine Vela settled in from there, holding UC Santa Barbara scoreless in the final three innings and finishing with 11 strikeouts for the game.
Vela improved to 15-10 on the season with the victory after tossing a complete game with five hits. Shelby Wisdom took the loss and dropped to 18-14 after 6.0 innings, seven hits and two earned runs.
Game One Box
In game two, UC Davis continued to be efficient at the plate, posting four runs on five hits behind Thweatt's 13 strikeouts.
The Aggies lit up the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, scoring one run on one hit and one error. Nunez had a lead-off single and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. UC Davis managed to take advantage of a Gaucho miscue, as Nunez came all the way from second to score on a throwing error to make the score 1-0.
Nunez came back to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, capping off the inning with a two-run home run over the left field fence, giving the Aggies a 3-0 advantage.
UC Santa Barbara managed a late comeback, starting with a run in the top of the sixth. Jessica Soria had a lead-off triple and came home on a RBI groundout to bring the score to 3-1. The Gauchos were able to even the score in the top of the seventh, thanks to Lauren Boser two-RBI double off the left field fence.
Thweatt got out of a jam in the top of the eighth and was relieved in the ninth after facing two batters. Vela left the bases loaded in the ninth, getting out of the frame with two fly outs and a strikeout.
UC Davis didn't waste any time in the bottom of the ninth, starting with a lead-off walk for Rachel Miller and putting two on with no outs after a Fan walk. Schulze wrapped up the extra-inning win with a RBI single to left center that gave the Aggies a 4-3 victory.
Game Two Box
"Right now we know we control our fate in the Big West race," continued Yoder. "Tomorrow we have to play one pitch at a time and execute like we did today and even bring our play up a notch."
UC Davis will look to complete the series sweep tomorrow against UC Santa Barbara at 12 p.m. The Aggies will also celebrate their five seniors in the home season finale before hosting the annual alumnae game.